Going Through TSA With Metal in Your Body: What You Should Know

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Going Through TSA With Metal in Your Body: What You Should Know

Written by Erich Allen Aug 02, 2022 03:00 PM

Medical science has come a long way. Chronic injuries used to be something that would leave the patient with lifelong pain and suffering, but with extensive reconstructive surgery options, that’s not a problem anymore! 

Today, you can get reconstructive surgery whether you’ve badly injured yourself or you’ve experienced joint pain. Millions of people around the globe live normal lives and enjoy full mobility after getting reconstructive surgery. 

However, while these surgeries are great for getting your life back on track, you might wonder if you could travel as smoothly as you did before now that you’re a walking magnet for the metal detector! 

Planning a trip? Try our free, easy-to-use travel planning tool.

TSA checkpoints can be nerve-wracking even without having metal inside your body, but with it, you might be worried that you’ll set off the alarms and won’t even get to explain yourself. The common thought here would be to get a doctor’s note for TSA informing them about the metal in your body, but getting your records or getting a doctor’s note can sometimes cost you additional time or money. The good thing is, it’s not actually a requirement! 

You do not need a doctor’s note for TSA if you have metal in your body; you could carry it if you want, but it’s not an actual legal requirement. Although, that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be informed. Let’s go over what you need to do to make it through TSA with metal in your body as easily as possible! 

Going Through TSA With Metal in Your Body

Below is everything you need to know about going through TSA with metal in your body to make your trip as smooth as possible

When Should You Tell the TSA You Have Metal in Your Body?

The first question that would generally pop up here is when should you tell the TSA that you have metal in your body? Since metal detectors are loud and scary and do make you look suspicious, you might want to avoid trouble by announcing the metal situation to every officer you see in your way, but that’s just overkill. Everyone along the way doesn’t actually need to know. 

So, go ahead and make your way through the initial security gates and check in! Get your boarding pass, and show the TSA your photo ID. At this point, the metal in your body would not hinder your travels' progression. So, keeping the information to yourself at that point is okay. 

Once you’ve received your boarding pass, you can move over to the main security checkpoint. This is where you leave your phone, laptop, hoodies, and other items on the security belt and move forward on your own. This is the point where the metal in your body would have to be announced. 

You can remove all of your items and place them on the security belt, and just before you step into the metal detector, let the officer standing in front or behind it know that you’ve got metal in your body and point to where that may be. 

They will prompt you to go through secondary checking and use a body scanner, a metal detector wand, or simply a pat down. 

Generally, it would be the body scanner, and it is completely safe for someone with metal in their body, so no worries there either. Just comply with whichever method of secondary checking they ask you to go through, and you’ll make it through just as easily as someone who doesn’t have metal inside them. 

Alternative Ways to Inform TSA About Metal in Your Body

If you don’t want to announce very loudly that you have metal inside your body and are hoping for a more discreet way of letting the TSA know about the situation, there’s a super simple option here too! 

All you have to do here is download the TSA Notification Card and write down that you’ve got metal in your body in the white remarks space. 

This will not exempt you from screening but will let them know you will use an alternative screening method instead. 

And You’re Through!

The whole point of reconstructive surgery is to make it so you can go on to live your life to the fullest. It won’t get in your way, especially not when it comes to metal detectors! Just remember to let them know before you walk through one, and you’ll be fine!